The BBC has announced the forthcoming release of an on-demand service called iPlayer that will enable computer users to view BBC television shows after they're broadcast. BBC iPlayer is Windows-only, though the company has been asked by the organisation that oversees it to make iPlayer Mac-compatible.
iPlayer will enable BBC viewers to download and watch BBC programmes for up to 30 days. All episodes of select BBC series, including Doctor Who and EastEnders, will be made available until a week after broadcast of the final instalment, according to the company.
The BBC’s efforts to push on-demand television follows similar efforts from Channel 4 and Five. Both allow viewers to watch programmes which have already aired within a seven-day period, although consumers have to pay a fee. Channel 4 and Five shows cost between 99p and £1.99. ITV has also revealed plans to make its schedule available on demand.
The BBC Trust, an independent organisation which took over oversight of the BBC from the old Board of Governors in January, has asked that the company develop a version of iPlayer that runs on different operating systems within "a reasonable time frame”.
But they stopped short of defining specific milestones, and the BBC said it couldn't commit to a two-year deadline to achieve that goal, according to a recent report . The BBC Trust pledged to audit the company's efforts every six months to make sure they stay on track.